Once, in stories, when I was a boy, a demoness came to me. A hideous and powerful thing named Kiskuh. She was terrible and frightening and she spoke of the coming of the shining girl, and the end of all things. Those rags, those brooks, those lucent armies promising salvation. Sweet one, I have seen too much war. I am too much war. But once I was a poet, before the hush. When Kashi was known and harbours shone.
Then darkness came. Kiskuh spoke of it then, in stories. I speak of it now, in song. Morgaine, Ethri-los, Kanna of Vir.
Corrupted chronologies. Violations at the Altar Sun.
Asha, I was with you when they took your life. I was with you when they mocked my grief. When they turned a thing of branches into a thing of knives. As the sea dimmed with wine, and the Church Beneath was made crimson. I carried you always, even in death. Even with blood in the water. Broken, darkened, almost blind.
You were my only memory of light.
I am with you still. Even at the end of the world. Even in a realm of rags and rocks, and bloodied feathers. Through the storm we will reach the shore, my love. If we do it together. I know now the truth of that gift, finally. Love is indeed the grandest thing. Stars fall, rivers run, worlds end, but love can make legends of us all. I'm just a ghost, a storyteller among the dead. But you make me remember what it’s like to be a man. I'm just a slave, shackled to both nightmare and grace. Yet you make me remember what it means to be a king.
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